Donald Trump kicked off another round of Republican mind explosions at a campaign stop in South Carolina when he teased the idea that as president he would (illegally) leak a series of damning classified documents about what “really” happened on September 11, 2001.
The Republican Party, whose official line is still that George W. Bush was a great president and the Iraq caused 9/11, have begun freaking out over Trump because unlike the other candidates, who are comfortable with that lie, Trump has increasingly criticized the Bush administration for their disastrous foreign policy. Things reached a head at Trump’s latest rally.
Trump says if he is elected: “you will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center.”
“It wasn’t the Iraqis,” he explained. “You may find it’s the Saudis.”
“They have papers in there that are very secret,” he also said, referencing the 28 still-classified pages of the 9/11 commission report. “But you will find out.”
It’s been a common belief among both reporters and the public that the classified pages in the 9/11 commission report really do implicate Saudi Arabia as having some involvement in the attacks. Following the attacks, Bush’s administration was put in the awkward position of either confronting their Middle Eastern ally (and oil provider) or scapegoating a different Middle Eastern country which they hated. They invaded Iraq.
When Trump says he’ll prove the Saudis were involved in 9/11 he isn’t turning over any stones that haven’t already been turned over, but he is reminding America that George W. Bush ran his administration based on a neverending torrent of deceit, false pretenses and fabrications. As such, the only people who still believe that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 are Republicans themselves.
It reinforces the fact that the Republican Party has now become completely detached from reality. In a surreal moment at the last Republican debate, Trump – a candidate who has previously mocked a disabled reporter, suggested Muslims be barred from entering the United States, claimed Mexico was sending rapists across the border, advocated for bringing back torture, and any number of other outrageous things – was booed… because he pointed out that the Iraq War was a terrible idea.
“Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?” said Trump. “George Bush made a mistake, we can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty.”
The crowd didn’t like that one.
But Trump continued. “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction – there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
And the boos got much louder.
Republicans cheer Trump when he lies to their faces about Mexicans and boo him when he points out the obvious. Welcome to the modern Republican Party.
Feature image from Gage Skidmore/Flickr